I. The Known Ground

I dare not tarry any longer
I went sleeping
sheltered under

Boughs until silence
with her slumberous sounds
uplifted me

In the timid
tremor of a moment
my fingers tugged at

Two worlds embraced
of air and earth
in me
sky and seed and sea

God mottles!
she breaks bonds
of borders sets
the worried dark to shine
the forest floors to order

and the crocuses cry out
creep push and hail
up leaves and logs
then their songs swell
“Here I am, Lord:
weary, thirsty
at the well!”

So as the morning glows through
the branches tangled
as with the woven strokes of
Kells books
God looks
Her flame descending turns
dew, drink
the flowers, dirt, parched
birch, elder yew

And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us, burned
bright in the thirsty sap of
groves and blooms
left love as a skyward mark

The happy owl cradles
slumbers blessed in tension
Earth and Heaven
soft across her
wings in the dark

Shall I also understand
and rest soaring
still in the whispered realm
between ash heaps and
the field of former stars?
I long to know Who and Where You are
and yet I tremble

fearing to forget the known ground
We are each one of us trees
loved, up-reaching
but deep-rooted
in the idol world of sight and sound.

II. Out There

Here me.
There is no bearded God out there
crouching behind

the purple stardust
in silken robes

with a telescope lens

(do not call
me an unbeliever)

My eyes have seen
the true high places
where in the dark angels
flit between roots

and rocks, starlings utter
songs in the pits

quick atoms bend
in bodies of water
tides breaking on
and pulling in the same
reflection of a verbal name

Lost as I am
the same still moonlight
moves the sands in me

those raven black
particles refracting
as in a cloudy prism
or a quaking mirror
sentinel love, fear’s
only cure.

Hear me.

Did you imagine
Golgotha as Olympus
unclimbed by little folk?

Did you glimpse
in baskets heaping with bread
sweet ambrosia unfit for mortals?

I will not abide a
truth of distance
News is only Good
when near to us

while in love pressed
as leaves upon leaves
drinking the words
we taste heaven
in the humus.

Aidan Stoddart ’21 is a junior in Eliot House studying Comparative Religion.